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Cisco IoT Leader: The 'Network Must Become Automated' For IoT

Cisco Systems Internet of Things leader Rowan Trollope explains why the network must become automated in order for IoT to achieve success in the market.

There's not enough people on the planet to run the network when looking at the scale of the Internet of Things, said Cisco's IoT leader Rowan Trollope.

"The design of networks today, which are largely manual and involve people with fingers to keyboards and tools configuring them, there aren’t enough people on Earth – even if we could certify them as CCIE's -- to run the network the way that it's being run today when you look at the scale of the Internet of Things to configure the network," said Trollope, senior vice president and General Manager, IoT and Applications. "So the network must become automated, and in order to become automated, we need intelligence."

Trollope made the statement during a Q&A session with the media and analysts last week at Cisco Partners Summit 2016 in San Francisco. The San Jose, Calif.-based networking giant has being pushing its "intelligent network" theme this year as Cisco strives to transform the network from a product sale to a subscription-based solution.

Trollope said greater networking intelligence will empower IoT devices to become more efficient and secure.

"The holy grail in the security world has always been to know 'what's good' and if you can do that it's way more efficient. But the problem is knowing 'what's good' has been impossible, essentially, with the current structure," said Trollope. "So as we define this next generation of networking, this new era, essentially, we are looking to reboot that security model fundamentally for 'things' – now it's not possible for computers, but it is possible for 'things' because of the fundamental nature of the 'thing' is different than a general purpose computer."

Cisco Partner Summit 2016 took place from Nov.1 to Nov. 3.

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